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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Dan Cornwell goes COSMIC with Department K!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, it’s time to take a trip to the weird side of the Justice Department, with Dan Cornwell on the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2241 as Department K defend the dimensions from the Valox…

PROG 2241 OUT NOW out now

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Since first appearing in 2000 AD Regened Prog 2196, you’ve been loving the reality preserving wonderful weirdos of Department K, whose simple (hah!) brief is to tackle interdimensional enemies that are looking to burst through into the reality of MC-1. Created by Rory McConville and PJ Holden, that first 2-parter (in Prog 2196 and Regened Prog 2233) introduced us to the wonders overseen by Judge Kirby and her team… Judge Estabon, the new intern Afua, and the ‘what the hell is he anyway?’ Judge Raspberry, as they kept MC-1 safe from all manner of cosmic beastie.

In 2000 AD Prog 2234, Dan Cornwell hopped on board the thrill ride, taking over art from PJ, and joined Rory in Department K‘s first long-form adventure, Cosmic Chaos, which has involved the Dept getting very up close and personal with a load of very large, very powerful, and very cosmic entities and those who try to kill them. Which is where Dan’s incredible cover to 2000 AD Prog 2241 comes in, as we get set to meet the Valox, whose only role in life is to go around destroying the increasingly sick multiverse. I mean, a goal in life is great, for sure, but maybe not that goal?

As for Mr Dan Cornwell, well he’s one of a number of great breakthrough 2000 AD artists in the last few years, ever since he got his first big break with the art on Rok of the Reds (and its follow up, Rok the God) with a certain couple of gentlemen you may well know, going by the names of John Wagner and Alan Grant. Since then, he’s become a much in demand art droid here at the Nerve Centre, with art on Judge Dredd and Max Normal. And now we get to see his fabulous work on the cover to 2000 AD Prog 2241, out right now…

So, without further ado… Dan Cornwell to tell us how he put that little beauty together…

DAN CORNWELL: Matt asked me if I could provide a new cover for the Department K story I’ve been doing for the prog. Obviously, I jumped at the chance as it’ll be only my second cover to date.

First off I had to provide some roughs for Tharg to view and chose which he felt would work best for a cover. I sent 4 simple design ideas. They were all of a similar design but each slightly different.

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The final consensus was the fourth image worked best with the team in the foreground with the two Valox and the egg behind. It worked well compositionally and left enough room for all the masthead logos, coverline etc.

Once I was given the green light I then pencilled the final image on larger than normal stock paper. I used Strathmore 400 series Bristol. This is slightly larger – and more expensive – Tharg’s worth it though – than the normal board I use which is A3 in size. I also normally use extra smooth heavy stock cartridge paper but I pushed the boat out for this one. (And it needed using up at some point)

Unfortunately, I forgot to scan the pencil stage as I got too keen and just went straight into inking.

Onto inking – tentacles, tentacles, tentacles, and more tentacles.

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The inks were then scanned, cleaned up, some splatter and texture added here and there and then sized up.

Next up I added colours. Starting with the flats. The colour scheme I had envisaged was quite a bold one with a bright red background, but I left the final decision for later on in the process.

Onto adding the flats for the cover – and no, they still haven’t noticed what’s behind them.

At this point, I didn’t have any idea as to what colours Len O’Grady was using on the Valox or the egg as he was in the process of colouring the pages himself. This is when the colour scheme changed.

Apocalypse Wow… adding in a hell of a lot of red!

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I decided that I would go for a limited palette. Remove the red background and go for a more uniform colour all over.
As the image progressed I gravitated towards a green theme. (I sound like Simon Bisley from that late 80’s Green Man documentary)

Meaner, moodier… giving it the green

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I added texture to the background then I decided to add a design element to the light coming from the egg. Once I was content with how it was going I then added all the extra stuff such as mist, dust and scratches and some colour holds to push the Valox back a bit making the team pop a little more. Then I stopped because I could have gone on and on and on… You have to know when to stop.

Until finally, there’s the finished cover!

And stop he did, but only before giving us a really great cover to match a really great series. Thanks so much to Dan Cornwell for sharing that with us. You can catch 2000 AD Prog 2241 everywhere the Galaxy’s Greatest comic is sold right now!

And for more on Department K, be sure to look up these interviews with the creative teams, first this one on Prog 2196 with Rory McConville and PJ Holden, and then a triple-header of Department K chat with McConville, Holden, and new boy Dan Cornwell.

And finally, to see Dan Cornwell putting together his very first 2000 AD cover, have a gander at this Covers Uncovered for Prog 2217!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – A debut Dredd for Toby Willsmer

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, the debut of a brand-new art droid… Toby Willsmer on the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2240 giving us his bullet-ridden look at Dredd in action…

Prog 2241 out now

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Toby is an illustrator based down in New Zealand, but he was a child of Britain in the ’70s and 2000 AD runs in his comics blood. He was the winner of the January 2000 AD Art Stars contest, with a great looking Sam Slade Robo-Hunter, which led to this, his very first work here at 2000 AD… and a rather fine debut it is as well!

You can get hold of 2000 AD Prog 2239 from the 2000 AD web shop, as well as all good newsagents and comic shops, from 14 July.

TOBY WILLSMER: I’d shown Matt a piece I had done with explosions and a character shooting face on and he asked me if I would like to do a 2000 AD Dredd cover with a similar dynamic. As my first 2000 AD cover the answer was a yes from me!

Matt’s brief was “Dredd racing towards us, guns blazing, big explosions in the background, etc”. After a quick back ‘n’ forth regarding the background scene I started to come up with an image in my head of how it would look and scribbled some really quick ideas to make into roughs. I came up with a couple of roughs (above and below) for Matt to look at and he liked the dynamic of the second rough and gave me the go-ahead to work it up.

I went ahead and did the linework for approval, leaving the background lines as just guidelines and explained that I would define and detail the explosions as I painted them.

From here I added where I want the light source and shadows.

Next… add some base colour for the overall piece.

I start by adding thin colour to the foreground parts building up colour depth as I go along.

Once I’m ok with the initial colour stage I’ll start to add some basic background colours to make sure the foreground and background colours work together.

As the background was to be all explosions I blocked in large parts with rough colours knowing they would be mostly painted over in the next process as I start to add debris and movement into it.

Here’s the fun bit, blow stuff up and throw stuff in the air. Adding as much depth and movement to the explosions as possible.

At this stage I decided to add Dredd’s boot to his trailing leg.

I sent the tweak over for approval and it was left in for the final piece.

By now I’m happy with how it’s all coming together and I’ll add all the details and bells and whistles to the overall piece until it’s done.

Then send the finished piece off to Matt and await his feedback.

Now that is a damn good Dredd cover, a classic debut! Thanks to Toby for sending all his process along for us all to see.

If you want to see more from Toby, head to his website, his Artstation site, and catch him on Instagram.

Now, a little bit more of that great Willsmer artwork… first the Sam Slade, Robo-Hunter piece that won the 2000 AD Art Stars competition back in January

And now a couple grabbed from his Artstation site –

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Neil Roberts’ Sci-Fi Special cover brings the heat to Dreddworld!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

Today, it’s the turn of cover artist extraordinaire, Neil Roberts, talking us through putting together the cover for the 2021 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special

This summer, things are heating up in the world of Judge Dredd with the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special!

It’s going to be a mega summertime storytelling event when we see characters from different Dreddworld series crossing over in one epic adventure! The whole thing is plotted by Michael Carroll and Maura McHugh, along with fabulous stories featuring Judge Dredd, Cursed Earth Koburn, Anderson, Chopper, Armitage, and Devlin Waugh!

Things begin with Judge Dredd meeting up with Cursed Earth Koburn in ‘Biohazard’ by Carroll and Ben Willsher, while over in Oz legendary skysurfer Chopper is a wanted man in ‘Dreamgazer’ by David Baillie and Tom Foster. Meanwhile, over in Brit-Cit, Armitage goes looking for everyone’s favourite vampiric dandy Devlin Waugh in ‘Natural Fern Killer’ by Liam Johnson and Robin Smith, whilst Hondo-Cit Judge Inaba has trouble on her turf, courtesy of Karl Stock and Neil Googe. All this plus Judge Anderson by Maura McHugh and Anna Morozova, before everything wraps up in ‘Apotheosis’, by Carroll and McHugh, and drawn by Thought Bubble 2000 AD art competition winner James Newell.

It’s going to be a summer thrill-power scorcher! And it all starts off with that great cover from Neil Roberts!

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ORDER NOW IN NORTH AMERICA >>

NEIL ROBERTS: Tharg messaged me with a proposition to do the 2000AD Sci-Fi Special cover artwork, and I couldn’t resist the chance!

The brief was for a multi-character piece, a group shot in front of planet Earth. What was particularly exciting for me was being able to paint some classic characters – Dredd, Anderson, Devlin Waugh, Armitage, Inaba and a personal favourite of mine, Chopper. (on his board, too!) Tharg sent on a load of reference images to keep me inspired and on track.

With that, I thumbnailed out a few designs – opting for a classic line-up composition, where everyone would be clear and legible within the frame.

After a few rounds of tweaking and revising the image (Chopper standing with his board felt way too sedate, so we had him surfing through space and gave Dredd a gun), Tharg settled on a final design and I set to painting.

After a few weeks, I sent off the image to the Nerve Centre, and we called it done. Phew!

And that was that – another cracking cover from Neil there! Thanks so much to Neil for sharing the experience.

You can pick up the 2000 AD Sci-Fi Special 2021 on 7 July in the UK and 4 August in the USA – get it from your favourite comic shops, newsagents or order NOW from the 2000 AD web shop.

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Covers Uncovered Special – Black Beth and The Devils of Al-Kadesh

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week though, we have a special treat for you in the shape of a very special Treasury of British Comics Scream! One-Shot SpecialBlack Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh! – all under a stunning cover from Andrea Bulgarelli, who sent along some truly amazing process shots for us to look at!

Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh is out on June 23 in the UK and July 21 in the USA – it’s going to be one of those must-see books of the year – be sure you don’t miss out!

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Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh features three incredible tales, all leading off with an amazing 32-page tale by Alec Worley (Durham Red) and drawn by DaNi (Coffin Bound), where the warrior-woman and her blind aide Quido have traveled to the wicked city of Shadrivar, in search of the evil witch Anis-Amuun.

It’s sword & sorcery questing at its best, a sea-spanning thriller which pits Beth’s curved blade against all manner of mystical creatures – and possibly Anis-Amuun herself!

But that’s not all! There’s also a back-up Black Beth tale from Alec Worley and cover artist Andrea Bulgarelli, and an all-new Death Man thriller from Doug Graves and Vincenzo Riccardi, plus pin-ups by David Roach and Andreas Butzbach.

But before all that, let’s take a few moments to appreciate just how good this one’s going to look when you see it on the shelf – all thanks to that gorgeous cover by Andrea!

Everything started off with the first pencilled version, with all those essential elements you see in the final cover already there in the mix…

Next, tightening everything up…. Andrea talks of ‘defining the poses of the characters and the details.’ But it does make a great bit of spot the difference… and the case of the disappearing tongue…

Stage three for Andrea is getting those characters paper and beginning the painting…

Onto step four, painting continues, acrylic on canvas paper. This is where Andrea lays the foundations of colours, including a decision to alter things – ‘I changed the sky, with a blood red!’

Next up, with the background of the sky and the ship in place, it’s time to start focusing on the character details…

More and more details being added, step by step, layer by layer, with Andrea concentrating on Black Beth’s armour – ‘I researched Black Beth’s armor with photos of real armor for coloring. I was inspired by Jesus Blasco’s style, which is my favorite.’

And then, to the final stage, where Andrea has all the details added and a finished painting all ready for printing!

As an extra, for all of you who love seeing the artist’s working conditions – Andrea sent along this final image…

And that’s everything, so a huge thanks to Andrea to sending all of those along (as well as my apologies for having to fumble through with remedial Spanish when talking to him!)

It’s a suitably striking and quite beautiful looking cover for something that’s going to be talked about a lot this year – Black Beth and the Devils of Al-Kadesh

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Dave Kendall – Mecha Goes Massive!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, time to go BIG, as the diabolical, mechanical marvel that is Mechastopheles takes the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2237 – all courtesy of Dave Kendall.

Wade into the action with the giant demon of the Deep with Prog 2237 – heading into battle, into the shops, and into the 2000 AD web shop on 23 June!

First stomping all under its titanic tootsies, Mechastopheles first burst into the Prog as a Tharg’s 3Riller in Progs 2045-2047, before graduating to an eight-part series in Progs 2092-2099 and is now featuring in Progs 2234-2237 for the four-part The Hunting Party.

Created by writers Gordon and Lawrence Rennie and artist Karl Richardson, this tale of demonic robotic mayhem all came about when Rennie Snr mentioned to Rennie Jnr that he fancied writing a story about a big robot demon in hell – which is, I think we can all agree, a perfect 2000 AD pitch!

The survivors of humanity are on-board Mechastopheles, years after the fall of Earth when the demons rose up and everything went very, very, very bad for all human-kind. But, here in The Hunting Party, we’re finding out that seeking sanctuary in a demonically powered gigantic Mecha might have some uniwue problems – especially now it’s obvious that the demon bound to the Mek, Apollyoneth Morga, has enemies in Hell too.

For this new series, the four-part The Hunting Party, Rennie Snr and Jnr are joined on art by Boo Cook, whose art gives an added dimension to all the diabolic goings-on happening inside and outside the Mecha monstrosity.

But for now, it’s over to the great Dave Kendall, who waved his magic paintbrush at the cover…

DAVE KENDALL: So my cover (and almost every illustration and comic page) starts with scribbles in my sketchbook. You can see that this cover filled around four pages. I did a couple of sketches to familiarise myself with the character and because of the underwater aspect it gave me an excuse to give Pacific Rim a watch. A movie I thoroughly enjoy. My kind of visual junkfood. Great inspiration for giant robots underwater.

You can see the progress in Sketch 1 and Sketch 2 below…

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From there I came up with two concepts.

The first was a close-up portrait of Mechastopholes, with the second a more distant full figure shot that emphasised his imposing size.

Matt liked both but thought the full figure was more imposing.

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The next stage is sketching it out in a more finished state in Clip studio. This would then be transferred to Bristol board as a blue line to be penciled in detail.

You can see those stages below, first the cover sketch and then the final Mechastopholes cover pencils…

The final pencils are then printed as sepia on watercolour paper and then bonded to mdf. This is then coated with acrylic medium and then when dried it’s ready to paint. I don’t have any stages of this process but it’s a careful build-up of darks and midtones with lights at the end.

Of course highlights don’t really occur under water so I avoid that in this illustration, just letting the flames and inner fire shine bright.

A careful scan and it’s sent to Matt for approval.

All of which leads us to this, the final Dave Kendall cover… that is a MASSIVE cover…

Thanks to Dave for sending us those stunning pieces of art. You can find it on the shelves on 23 June adorning the front of 2000 AD Prog 2237 – get it from newsagents, comic shops, and the 2000 AD web shop.

Now, a few of those magnificent Mecha shots blown up for you to see all that incredible detail in Dave’s work…

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2000 AD Coverssss Uncovered – Nick Percival’s Deliverance Finale – A Beautiful Grotessssquerie…

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

Borag Thungg Earthlets – this week, it’s another Sssssscrotnig cover from the brilliant Nick Percival for Judge Dredd Megazine Issue 433 – a wraparound cover at that, celebrating the 10th and final episode of The Dark Judges: Deliverance, written by David Hine.

Megazine issue 433 is out right now – from newsagents, comic shops, as well as the 2000 AD web shop – go get it right now!

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Across 10 episodes in the Megazine, those Dark Judges have been causing havoc in Deliverance, complete with a brand-new alien appearance designed by Percival, before everything comes to a head in the final episode… so, let’s see what Nick has to say about that his latest encounter with Death and the gang…

NICK PERCIVAL: We finally get to Part 10 and the series finale, so I wanted to do something a bit special for the last cover artwork. I pitched a wraparound cover with the four Dark Judges fighting each other. It was great fun to do and you get a good look at all of them using their various abilities against each other, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

Dave Hine’s ending for the series really lent itself to some cool images, so it was a nice send off (for now!) of the gruesome foursome.

The cover and this episode also gave me another chance to show off the new alien based designs for Fear, Fire and Mortis which was such an integral part of the series and takes them in a bit of a different direction which is something we intend to explore down the line.

I’m busy on a three-part Judge Dredd storyline for 2000AD at the moment (another dark, spooky one) and Dave and I have already been chucking ideas around for where we can take the Dark Judges next. We’ve come up with a very cool premise that hopefully we can start fleshing out very soon.

It’s cool to be back on Dredd but I can’t leave those four bad lads alone for long – who knows what they’ll get up to…?

Ssssee you ssssoon…

And that’s that… with that, he was gone, cackling to himself and surrounded by four dark shadows, whispering into his ear… maybe that’s where the Percival Droid gets his ideas from?

Thanks to Nick for sharing the dastardly insssspiration – and also these wonderfully grotesque process bits from the cover… first up, the full-cover rough, followed by Nick’s finished piece, and then… because you need to see these things up close and personal… some blow-ups of the artwork.

I’d say don’t have nightmaresssss… but that that’s sort of the whole point of the Dark Judges, don’t you think?

If you want more of Nick’s incredible cover work, have a look at previous Covers Uncovered pieces, including for Megazine 425, Megazine 427, and Megazine 430,

You can catch the cover to Judge Dredd Megazine 433 on the shelves right now! So what are you waiting for, head to your local newsagent, run to your local comic shop, or just do the clicky for the 2000 AD web shop!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Dylan Teague’s Dredd keeps guard on Prog 2236

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week – it’s Dylan Teague with the scrotnig cover for 2000 AD Prog 2236, with a damn serious looking Dredd packing a little bit of hardware… you can get hold of the cover when it hits the shelves and the 2000 AD web shop on 16 June!

For quite a while, Dylan’s been appearing on the cover as his lush colours have been making Cliff Robinson’s stunning covers look as good as they do, but it’s great to see his own brilliant work getting the attention it deserves there on the cover, especially when it’s a perfect Dredd.

Dylan’s artwork hasn’t just been gracing the cover of 2000 AD though, he’s also recently been on the inside pages with the art duties for last week’s Judge Dredd strip, Brief Encounter, written by Ken Niemand, a perfect little tale of love blossoming amongst the perps on the holding posts… looking something like this…

Dylan Teague art from Judge Dredd: Brief Encounter – 2000 AD Prog 2235

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Now, over to Dylan for the breakdown of putting the cover together for Prog 2236… it’s a quick one this week, but that doesn’t mean the artwork’s any less wonderful!

I asked Tharg if he was looking for any covers and he said he could do with a backup Dredd cover. These type of covers are always useful to have in the drawer.

I’d done a sketch of Dredd that I was quite pleased with and I thought I could use it as a basis for the cover…

I scanned it in and used it as a base to start drawing the cover in Clip Studio. I added in a background using the ever helpful perspective rulers and sent a black and white rough to Tharg.

He was happy with the rough so I went ahead and finished it all up. I’ve always loved drawing Mega City one so I had a great time on the background of this.

And that’s it from Dylan – simple sketch, quick email, add a background, finish it up… and that’s it. Except, when I try and do that, Tharg ends up first splitting his sides laughing and then sends me back down to the lower levels of the Nerve Centre!

Thanks to Dylan Teague for that – a fabulous cover from a great artist. It’s one of the great Dredd images of the year so far!

Like Dylan says, it all starts off with the sketch he did, although frankly calling it a sketch is underselling it all just that little bit…

The original sketch from Dylan Teague’s files… sketch!!!
Another ridiculously good concept sketch for the cover from Dylan – perspective lines on the attack!
Dylan’s mocked up cover ready for Tharg’s approval
Final b&w version of the cover – move along citizen… nothing to see here.
And the final coloured version – a perfect Dredd cover!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – PJ Holden sends Chimpsky for a tumble with Prog 2234

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, we have the return of both Noam Chimpsky and his co-creator, PJ Holden to the cover of 2000 AD Prog 2234… out on 2 June from the 2000 AD web shop, and all good newsagents and comic shops!

After plenty of appearances playing second fiddle to Judge Dredd, Mega-City One’s super-smart simian vigilante now get his very own series, from writer Kenneth Niemand and artist PJ Holden – it’s time for Chimpsky’s Law: The Talented Mr Chimpsky.

So, without further ado… over to PJ Holden…

PJ HOLDEN: It started something like this..

“Matt! Matt! Can I do a Chimpsky cover?”
“Ok, but the Prog for episode 1 we have a cover for, best I can do is episode 3…”
“OK!”

And off I go…

Episode 3 has Chimpsky about to be sucked out of an airlock, so I knew there’d be a few things I could play with there – and a more action-packed Chimpsky cover too!

(Well, somewhere along the line, things changed and this is now the cover of the Prog with the first episode… but, by happy circumstance, it also starts off with Chimpsky being sucked out the airlock!)

PJ HOLDEN: I set up my cover-image-template-idea-sheet and started banging out some ideas

1. Big head Chimpsky (one white/possibly with black with stars behind?) [ok, not terribly imaginative, but I was thinking “COLLECTION!”]
2. Chimpsky being sucked towards the door.
3. Chimpsky being sucked to the door, but reaching to grab something.
4. Abstract Chimpsky lost in space background (very Saul Bass).
5. Chimpsky grabbing the other chimp.
6. Chimpsky surrounded by Jeppersons.
7. Chimpsky and the other ape.
8. Chimpsky being sucked towards door, but much closer on his face in panic.
9. Slightly abstract, Chimpsky shaped head with panels on the inside with various suspicious Jeppersons….

Matt liked the Saul Bass idea (I mean, I didn’t tell him I didn’t know how to do that, it just sounded like a cool idea and essentially I nicked it from the Vertigo Poster…)

And about 25 minutes later, I had this …

I admit it didn’t take any time at all, but some drawings are just … quicker than others!

Anyway, I was sitting with it, and after batting it over to Dylan Teague I figured I could make it pop a little more and ended up with the final piece.

Not sure how the readers will react to this, I know the message board really liked the previous Chimpsky covers and this is very different so we’ll see. But I do think whoever thought of Plummet of the Apes deserves some extra oil rations…

I really am going to have to pitch a more action packed Chimpsky cover at some point, one where he’s mid-flight!

And speaking of Chimpsky in mid-flight… how about this to tempt you? Remember what PJ was saying about Chimpsky being sucked out the airlock… well, here’s part of the first page of 2000 AD Prog 2234’s The World According to Chimpsky

Gorgeous! And there’s more of that to look forward to in Prog 2234.

But with that, PJ was off, something about seeing what other Saul Bass covers he could come up with and reckoning he was really onto something and then going off about how Rory McConville still hasn’t gotten back to him about the Dept K & Conan crossover… you’ll need to read the Department K interview for more on that, I’m afraid.

You can find PJ’s great cover to 2000 AD Prog 2234 on the shelves of your local newsagent or comic shop now, or pick it up in digital from the 2000 AD web shop!

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Neil Googe gets Regened on video!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, it’s time to hand over the reins of the Galaxy’s Greatest to Tharg’s nephew, Joko Jargo, bringing you all the best of all-ages wonder with the latest 2000 AD Regened action, in Prog 2233, coming your way on 26 May, from wherever you get your Thrill Power – including the 2000 AD web shop!

Look for the Zarjaz cover by the incredibly talented Art Droid Neil Googe, who sat down with us to share the making of this here cover…

Inside, you’re going to be enjoying the Scrotnig delights of a new Cadet Dredd, a new Future Shock, more from everyone’s favourite light-fingered nanny, Pandora Perfect, and the continuing tales of both Anderson, Psi-Division and Department K!

But now… over to Neil for his Covers Uncovered! And it’s a little different this time, as Neil sent over two beautiful looking finished cover versions, pre-colours, as well as a great video of his entire making a cover process!

First, those two covers…

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NEIL GOOGE: Howdy all…

Neil here. Joko’s asked me to briefly talk about how I go about putting one of these covers together. First, lets talk about some basics. I work almost entirely on an 12.9 iPad Pro, using Clip Studio paint (CSP).

I work print size, at 600dpi, which basically means I am working double size, as most stuff gets printed around the 300dpi mark, a relatively standard practice for comics as this makes for a crisper linework image.

The reason I work print size, but double the resolution, rather than a traditional method of working double-sized print resolution, is because CSP has a “view print size” button. This means it displays on-screen exactly the size it would be in print regardless of resolution. If I worked double size regular resolution, it would show me the image twice the size of print.

Being able to see the image exactly as it would be in print is a huge help for me and something I always struggled with when working traditionally. To the point where a huge amount of my traditional originals are drawn print size using tiny pens… Yep… I used to do that!

Screenshot from Neil’s timelapse video – with backgrounds and rough images

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Okay, next… As you’ll see in the video, the time-lapse starts at a point where there’s a background and a real rough image, that’s because… I draw my real roughs tiny, from there I build the background as a 3D model in SketchUp (more on that later), then place that and the rough together on my working size canvas and then get to work.

From this point, the process is very similar to traditional, except its a lot messier. This is because I can hide the pencils, erase, have multiple pencil layers and ink layers etc. But the process is the same as the way I used to work. Even on paper, after a real rough is done, I actually pencil and ink as I go, rather than pencil the image then ink it. It’s kind of like one process for me, not two separate ones.

Adding in the layers to the Dredd figure

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I keep all the elements on separate layers, so Dredd, perps, backgrounds etc. etc. This makes it easier to make adjustments as the image progresses, tiny movements, scaling, transforms etc.etc. This is also because I use a few tricks, that require things to be on separate layers. But that’s an entire write-up on its own… and I am already waffling on!

As you’ll also see here, I also work important to least important in an image, it helps me keep the focus on the image, and, if deadlines get tight, at least the core focus of a piece is done. So Dredd gets done first, then perps, then backgrounds…

Going back to the backgrounds layer

So I was going to talk about SketchUp and how I use it in my workflow, but quite honestly, that’s a series of posts and videos on its own… so… Here’s a brief breakdown – I also use SketchUp. It’s an invaluable tool when used right, especially for comics. I also use a handful of other 3d apps, and CSP has its own built-in figure posing tool. One app I use in this image is called Handy… I wonder if you can tell at what point I used Handy?

Okay… there we have it, a Cadet Dredd cover done…all that’s needed now is for another of the Tharglings to color it, Gary Caldwell colored this one, and it’s ready to be released as a heavy does of thrillpower for your eyeballs.

Any questions, you can reach me on all the socials, my web site and I do have a youtube channel coming, but right now… yeah… you’ll see.
Thanks all… Hope this helps oh mighty Tharg’s nephew… I did warn you I talk nonsense, and have about the most unprofessional workflow of any of your Tharglings.

Thank you to Neil for sending all that along both the images and that great video – what a star he is! Joko’s mentioned you in dispatches to Tharg, so maybe you’ll get double rations this week down in the Droid zone!

Look for that cover on shelves and in the 2000 AD web shop from 26 May! All the Regened action just bursting out of the Prog!

Now… the full-sized images from Neil’s cover –

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2000 AD Covers Uncovered – Blood Comes To Thistlebone With The Latest From Simon Davis!

Every week, 2000 AD brings you the galaxy’s greatest artwork and 2000 AD Covers Uncovered takes you behind-the-scenes with the headline artists responsible for our top cover art – join bloggers Richard Bruton and Pete Wells as they uncover the greatest covers from 2000 AD!

This week, it’s 2000 AD Prog 2232, featuring a typically gorgeous ThistlebonePoisoned Roots cover by Simon Davis to conclude what’s been a chiller of a series… Folklore Horror at its finest!

With TC Eglington and Simon DavisThistlebone: Poisoned Roots reaching its finale in 2000 AD Prog 2232, the blood is well and truly flowing in the woods. But whose blood?

It’s been a series of creeping horrors, as the darkness spreads deep in Harrowvale, with Simon Davis’ beautifully sinister artwork amazing us at every turn. And now, it’s time for one final scare courtesy of Davis.

When we talked to Simon in our Thistlebone interview, he laid out just how he puts his art together, with everything starting with reference and modeling before he puts together the story in some incredible watercolour roughs, exquisite things that many artists would be proud to call their finished work. After this, he begins it all once more with traditional drawing, finishing it off with gouache, ink, crayon, and oils.

Now, over to Simon… one last time… the terror of Thistlebone

SIMON DAVIS: Like my previous cover for this Thistlebone story, I wanted to create an image that encapsulated the feel of it rather than be narratively specific.

I tried a few variations of this design with different British mammals, eg a hare, a weasel, an owl, etc, but it just didn’t seem to work. A badger had featured in the story a few times so I was a little puzzled as to why I hadn’t thought of it before.

So I started to play with various badger/bonemask images and finally settled on this.

I really like images against white that are simple shapes and compositions and always try to have in the back of my mind how they will look on a shelf in a shop.

Matt Smith is always open to perhaps the more obscure imagery that maybe would put off other editors so I am very grateful to him for giving me the go ahead for this as it was one of those ideas I really wanted to paint.

It was painted in oils on a wooden panel and is (hopefully) pleasingly symmetrical.

Short and sweet but damn, the end result just looks so horrifyingly good. You can look for the newsagent terrifying cover on 2000 AD Prog 2232, available from 19 May from everywhere comics to chill and thrill are sold, including in the 2000 AD web shop.

For more on Thistlebone, be sure to check out the interview with writer TC Eglington and Simon Davis here and Simon’s previous Covers Uncovered for 2000 AD Prog 2223. And be sure to pick up the first volume of Thistlebone is from the web shop.